When I first heard of True Strike, I originally thought it was quite a powerful cantrip that would allow the castor to sacrifice 1 attack in order to be granted insight into the target's elemental weaknesses and resistances. It reminded me of my first campaign when I walked into it at level 4 and felt lost hearing my DM state "your attack seems to have done nothing" even when I knew it was a hit.

However, I now realize that was a false understanding of the rules. As such, I was wondering:

Is there a spell, item, or other game feature that would give my character insight to an enemy's weaknesses and resistance?

I am curious about any possible solution that would let a group know why the arcane wizard is not taking any damage in the middle of a fight, for example.


It's not a spell, but the Monster Slayer Ranger's Hunter's Sense has the desired effect.

The Monster Slayer Conclave, featured in Xanathar's Guide to Everything, gains the Hunter's Sense ability at level 3. This ability lets you:

As an action, choose one creature you can see within 60 feet of you. You immediately learn whether the creature has any damage immunities, resistances, or vulnerabilities and what they are.

This ability is blocked by effects that block divination magic (as in the spell Nondetection) and can be used a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier per long rest.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You might also want to mention "Know Your Enemy Starting at 7th level, if you spend at least 1 minute observing or interacting with another creature outside combat, you can learn certain information about its capabilities compared to your own. The DM tells you if the creature is your equal, superior, or inferior in regard to two of the following characteristics of your choice: • Strength score • Dexterity score • Constitution score • Armor Class • Current hit points • Total class levels (if any) • Fighter class levels (if any)" for generally gauging combat strength. \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu Feb 13 '20 at 20:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Know Your Enemy" and the similar Mastermind Rogue 9th level feature "Insightful Manipulator" do give some info on combat strength, but not the damage type vulnerabilities/resistances asked for in the question. \$\endgroup\$ – user48255 Feb 13 '20 at 21:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yup, but as we can infer from the comments of clarification +1, both help with "current abilities. Like an Identify spell but for stats." \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu Feb 13 '20 at 21:03

This is a slightly different way of looking at it, but your history, arcana, nature and survival skills all offer you the ability to gain insight into your opponents weaknesses in different situations. Speaking directly to your example, an Arcana Check could tell you why the wizard was not taking damage.
Moreover a simple wisdom Chk can be used to:

"Get a gut feeling about what course of action to follow. " P178 of players handbook.

This also keeps skills relevant in combat, and gives rogues and bards a proper edge from having many skill slots.

A stone of good luck p205 of the Dungeons Master's Guide will give you a +1 to all skills.
If you want something "granted" to you outside your characters normal abilities, an artifact ability (p219 dungeons master's guide) is to have proficiency in a skill granted to you.. So you could work with your gm to have a magic sword or helmet that grants you specific skills for the purpose of identifying weaknesses in your opponents!


The (third-party) Cobalt Soul monk's Extract Aspects feature

It may also be worth mentioning the unofficial Monk subclass, "Way of the Cobalt Soul" developed by Matthew Mercer and used in Critical Role's campaign. The subclass is freely available on Mercer's dropbox (linked from this March 2019 tweet by Mercer), and an earlier version of the subclass is published in the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting third-party book.

The Way of the Cobalt Soul monk's Extract Aspects feature says:

Beginning at 3rd level when choosing this tradition, you can strike to extract crucial information about your foe. Whenever you hit a creature with one of the attacks granted by your Flurry of Blows, you can learn the following attributes about the target: Damage Vulnerabilities, Damage Resistances, Damage Immunities, and Condition Immunities


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